The face of conflict is changing. While leaders like Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump still see conflict in the traditional light, many of their peers - and certainly the next generation - see conflict differently: Cultural, Economical, and Ecological. The kinetic warfare of the 19th and 20th century is a relic of past generations, a fact never more poignant than after recent speeches by three prominent politicians across two countries.
Patent and Trademark Law has been engrossed in the rise of e-commerce over the last several years and through a few recent cases (particularly Allen v. IM Solutions, Inc.), has finally determined what we netizens have always known: Websites and pop-up advertisements are a numbers game.
Unfortunately, this "numbers game" approach to advertising isn't isolated to just pop-up advertisements, but also spam e-mail, junk mail, and even the advertisements you see plastered throughout our nation's busiest airports. In order to sell their products, marketers must determine a cheap way to reach tens of thousands of potential customers to find that 1% who fall for their hook.
Matthew Crawford recently wrote a op-ed on New York Times about the effect that the rise in advertising has on society during what is referred to as the Attention Economy. This faux economy is the attempt to explain the finite ability of modern humanity to focus our attention on specific items. We can only focus on so many things, and in today's world we are increasingly being confronted with uncomfortable choices on what is and is not important enough to warrant our attention.
I've faced some opposition recently based on my views that the Electronic Frontier Foundation did a disservice to their constituents by focusing so much of their efforts on privacy, rather than data ownership. With that in mind, I pose two ethical scenarios to help illustrate my (and the Guardian's) point that solving the data ownership debate will solve far more than just the privacy debate.
Our laws are focused on data collection, but the existence of data is not the concern; it’s the usage and sharing of data. In today’s interconnected world, individuals are no longer as concerned about what a given company knows about them, but how it’s used and with whom that information is shared. These are issues that cannot be solved when we limit the scope of our conversation to privacy, but must be evaluated in the larger discussion of establishing ethical data ownership legislation.